Learn How to Play the Catalan Opening for Black
GM Robert Hungaski teaches you an opening system to fight and win as Black against the Catalan Opening. The order of moves Hungaski recommends arise after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3. The plan for Black from now on will be to neutralize White’s light-squared Bishop by creating the d5-c6-b7 pawn barrier.
The Catalan is becoming increasingly popular at all levels of play… but how do you deal with as Black?
Grandmaster (and FIDE Senior Trainer) Robert Hungaski insists that Black should neutralize White’s Bg2 by supporting d5 with …c6.
But after Nbd2 and e2-e4-e5, Black has to either give up the center or spend most of their time unraveling their pieces.
GM Hungaski has devised a ton of exceedingly clever move-orders that give Black:
- Equal stake in the center,
- Powerful piece placement,
- Multiple White weaknesses to target.
And he reveals the entire system in his new video series Secrets of the Catalan.
About the Author
Robert Hungaski is a chess Grandmaster and chess coach from the United States. He began taking chess seriously by the time he was thirteen, and was awarded the International Master title when he was eighteen.
Following several years on the tournament circuit, he decided to take some time off from professional competition and began training with GM William Lombardy and, at his behest, pursued higher education and enrolled in the University of Connecticut, where he received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Philosophy and Political Science, and a double minor in English and Middle Eastern Studies. That year he resumed high-level chess competition and achieved the Grand Master title.
Since then he has remained an active chess professional but has concentrated mostly on coaching. He is a FIDE Senior Trainer and official coach for the U.S. Chess Federation at international competitions (such as the World Youth, World Cadet and Pan-American Championships) as well as a recurrent Resident GM at the Saint Louis Chess Club.
What to expect:
- Bad bishop. That e5 pawn is White’s pride and joy… but it does limit his dark-squared bishop. Robert shows how to keep tightening the noose until White’s effectively a piece down!
- The ONE and only situation we will consider taking on c4.
- Striking cobra. Like a coiled cobra, we hang back, organizing our pieces and infusing them with power… then strike with speed and venom! Here (diagram) if White takes on d5, we recapture with the bishop then Qc8-b7! attacking the kingside. If Nf1 then …dxc4! and we attack on the queenside.
- The deep strategic reasons behind placing our bishop behind our pawn chain on b7… and how to unlock its hidden potential.
- The essential knight maneuver that starts a domino effect of incremental gains.
Ingenious ideas clearly presented by a fantastic coach – powerful strategies that will catch out your opponents time and again.